Irish Literature

WE WERE KINGS – UK reviews


Kevin Barry on the Proper Pint

A perfect example of when prose sings to you and makes you want to drink. In this case, Kevin Barry describing a proper pour of Guinness:


‘Each fresh glass he filled two sevenths shy of the brim, with the glass delicately inclined to the pourer’s breast, so as the stout would not injure itself with a sheer fall, and he set them then, and there was the rush and mingle of brown and cream notes, and the blackness rising, a magic show you would never tire of.’

– Kevin Barry, Breakfast Wine

Sheridan Le Fanu – Happy 200th!!!

Joseph+Sheridan+Le+Fanu7Happy 200th Birthday to Sheridan Le Fanu (who in my youthful ignorance, I always thought was French….thankfully, an Irishman dutifully corrected me). Before the tawdry ‘True Blood’ and the bosom-heaving bloodsuckers of Hammer Horror films, there was Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’, the first lesbian vampire to grace the Gothic. ‘Green Tea’ is a hallucinatory classic, and paired up with ‘Murders at the Rue Morgue’ one can’t help but look differently at our fellow primates. And you can’t beat ‘Uncle Silas’ for a prime lesson in Gothic fiction.

It’s quite amazing how the duo of Le Fanu and Bram Stoker gave life to the vampire tale. Add in Oscar Wilde, Charles Maturin (of ‘Melmoth the Wanderer’ fame) and short story writer, Fitz James O’Brien, and it’s quite impressive on how the Irish helped set the stones of Horror Literature as we know it today.